Saturday, September 25, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 23: A Youtube Video

West Wing is my all-time favorite tv show and there are several scenes that I think are amazing.  Here are two of my favorites.

30 Day Challenge: Day 20: A Hobby of Yours

My favorite hobby is photography.  I love to photograph my kids and nature.  I got my first camera, a Pentax K1000, in 1977 (my freshman year in college) as a Christmas gift.  My younger brother had taken a photography class in high school and my Dad converted the basement bathroom into a darkroom.  I wasn't much into the developing end of phtotography but appreciated the cool stuff my brother did.  I tried his camera out and loved the ability to set the shutter speeds and apeture settings to get different effects and results.  I still have the camera and use it occasionally but mostly shoot with a Canon EOS SLR--still prefer using film.  Mama gave me a great Canon digital this year for Christmas and love the convenience and the quality. 

In keeping with the season, here are some fall foliage shots. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

30 Day Challenge: Day 18: Your Wedding

Here we are after, 18 years together, (and lots of political and religious ugliness), getting married.  It was a lovely, simple, rather impromptu ceremony and we were surrounded by love. 

30 Day Challenge: Day 17: An Art Piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc)

Back in the day when we actually has some free time, I took water color painting lessons at a local community college.  It is wonderfully relaxing and taps into an entirely different part of me--I've always been more sporty than artsy. 

Mama's Favorite

30 Day Challenge: Day 16: A Song That Makes You Cry (or nearly)

Tell Me Why, Will Smith (with Mary J. Blige)

Why, why, why, why, why. Why

I really wish I could explain it baby (why),

It's just the world is kinda crazy baby (why),

Ain't no pretty way to paint it baby (why),

Don't cry, dry your eyes

September 11th, I woke up about 7am, west coast time, French toast and my

Turkey bacon, taking my time, awakin', turning my TV on

To my surprise, saw what everybody in the world saw

Me & my children, images were chillin'

My son said, "Daddy were there people in that building?"

A cold sweat, frozen with a lump in my chest

I heard his question, couldn't bring my lips to say "Yes" to him

That night at my son's side, he cried & prayed

For the one's who died in the World Trade

His palms to God, seeds and qualms with God

He just kept on pressin' me, wanna know why

Then one week later our bombs were dropped

We seein' them on CNN, they just won't stop

The infrared images of brutal attack

He said, "Daddy now we killin' em back"; (right, right)

Mmmmm, souls are captured

Dreams are stolen, hearts are broken

Evil blatantly rewarded

Hate surrenders, Love exalted

Hope elated, negativity is shorted

Why is the bomb always getting the last word

& why did her uncle have to molest her

& why did all them cops have to be shootin' to kill

& why did all them priests have to act so ill

Tell me why did James Byrd Jr. have to be touched

Tell me why did Malcolm & Martin depart from us

Tell me why did that sniper make the little boy shoot

& why does human life always denied for loot

Tell me why did Mandela have to live in a cage

Why did my brother Sterling have to die at that age

Tell me why did Reginald Denny deserve his fate

& why the f*@k can't love seem to defeat hate

Tell me why is it so hard for all the children to eat

Why did Pac & Biggie Smalls have to fall in the street

Tell me why did Jam Master Jay have to go that way

Please what am I supposed to say to my kids when they say 'Why?'

Can't explain it baby, life is just really crazy

I mean if it's world wars or the life of a little baby

We got more stores than they got rice under Buddha lazy

You live four scores & still it be driving you crazy

But for me I try to see the bright side

Sometimes it'd be like the goodness be tryin' to hide

Then try to flee, but it can't it's deep inside

Sweetie, you be the light for the others, make 'em believe in God

30 Day Challenge: Day 15: Your Dream House

To put it simply, wherever Mama is, I'm home. 

But, there is this amazing house on a lake we like to hang out at.  It has a great back yard with its own beach, a loft, great light, an "apartment" over the garage and fabulous gardens.


30 Day Challenge: Day 14: A Non Fictional Book: "The Faith Club"

WOW!  Be prepared to be challenged, enlightened and hopeful.  This is the story of three women of different faiths--Muslim, Jewish and Christian, who come together after 911, initially to write a story for children about how these faiths have more in common than not.  It lead to an exploration and strenghthening of their own faiths and a fuller understanding and respect for the others' faith.

30 Day Challenge: Day 13: A fictional book

A few years ago, Mama gave me the book, "The Shack" by Wm. Paul Young. The book has received very mixed reviews--some love it, some hate it. I found it fabulous in that it showed an entirely personal relationship with God and I loved the image of the Holy Spirit. The book deals with an intense subject matter--the violent loss of a child, and uses it to bring us to grace, forgiveness and slavation. Read it and you decide......

Thursday, September 16, 2010

30 Day Challenge: Day 12: Something You Are OCD About

I would have to go with being OCD about managing my photos.  I have at least 60 photo albums and would make sure that as soon as I got my photos processed, they'd go in an album--in chronological order, of course.  At one point I tried to start a little side busisness of hand-made cards, enlargements, custom calendars, etc., so would get double (or sometimes multiple) prints.  These extra "best" photos went into a separate album--organized by type--landscapes, flowers, w,ter, fall foliage, winter scenes--you get the idea.  I used to even keep my negatives in special plastic sleeves in a 3-ring binder--just in case I needed copies of one. 

I immediately embraced the technology of pictures in digital format and still have a box full of 3" floppy disks of pictures--do they even make computers with an "A" Drive anymore???  Even though I have a digital camera and many of my photos are now on my computer, I still like shooting with a film camera and putting them in photo albums.  I am desperately behind but that may be a winer project.  That and scanning all the pictures taken before the option of digital format. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

30 Day Challenge: Day 11: A Photo of You Recently

This was taken when Mama and I had our child-free time this summer.  We "discovered" this great pond after we went blueberry picking with our friends.  It is tucked away and is mostly untouched--only one house on the whole lake.  Mama and I spent a gloriously quiet afternoon paddling along, looking at trees and loons, watching the sun sparkling on the water, and listening to the wind.

30 Day Challenge: Day 10: A Photo Taken Over Ten Years Ago of You

This is picture of me and Alex taken about 16 years ago--he looks to be about 4.  Sometimes it's hard to believe that Mama and I have been together nearly 20 years!  It isn't until we look at old photos or remember a time that we realize that we have had quite a full and rich life -- with much more to come.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

30 Day Challenge: Day 9: A Photo You Took

Asking someone who has more than 50 photo albums--not counting what's on my computer or those obsolete 3" floppy disks--to choose one photo is nothing short of cruel.  This is a recent shot of the sunset over the Lake in Northern Vermont taken from our friends' deck. 

30 Day Challenge: Day 8: A Photo That Makes You Angry or Sad

This was a tough one.  Mama spoke about the rift with my family which is still an open, weeping wound two years later.  So, in an attempt for some independent thought and instead of angry, I went with sad.

This is a picture taken the weekend before we brought Baby D back to her Bio-Mom.  We brought her to the beach and let her play in the sand.  She was sitting up by herself--a new milestone, played with the sand and picked up shells and sticks.  It makes me sad.   Sad because I worry about her and her Mom's ability to meet her needs.  Sad because I know we could have been so good for her, that we would have been able to manage her medical and developmental needs and capitalize on her strengths.  Sad because I miss her.

30 Day Challenge: Day 7: A Photo That Makes You Happy

This picture was taken when Mama, Alex and I went to Disney in 1993. It was the first time the three of us went away as family and it was a wonderful adventure. In this picture Alex and I are getting ready for a snack--it's important to keep your blood sugar levels stable when your busy having fun!  Alex was obsessed with popcorn and the Saving Elroy ride.  He would have been just as content to stay at the hotel pool and, in fact, invited everyone he met in all the parks to come to his hotel to swim.  He sang the ABC song non-stop and would only eat clam chowder. Mama and I discovered coffee with hazelnut creamer, and, two hearts with one dream.

Catching Up on the 30 Day Challenge

I guess everybody's doing it so.....I'll try to catch up with this 30 Day Challenge.

Day 1-Favorite Song: "O Holy Night"   Depending on my mood, I love it performed classically--Barbara Streisand, Celtic Women or Andrea Bocceli, non-traditionally--Stephen Curtis Chapman, or instrumentally--John Fahey (guitar).

Day 2- Favorite Movie: Hmmmm, too many to choose just my top 5: "12 Angry Men" (the original), "I Confess" (basically anything by Alfred Hitchcock), "Gone With the Wind," "A League of Their Own," and "Wizard of Oz"

Day 3-Favorite TV show: "West Wing" The last truly intelligent TV show ever made.

Day 4-Favorite Book: "The Chosen" and "My Name is Asher Lev" both by Chaim Potok. Read them years ago when I was in high school and found them amazing! The Chosen tells the story of the friendship between two Jewish boys growing up in 1940’s Brooklyn, New York. They meet for the first time as rivals in a softball game between their school teams that turns into a spiritual war.

Asher Lev, is about a boy born with a prodigious artistic ability into a Hasidic Jewish family, set in the 1950’s in the time of Joseph Stalin and the persecution of Jews in the Soviet Union. During Asher's childhood, his artistic gift brings him into conflict with the members of his devoutly religious sect, who value things primarily as they relate to their faith and who consider art not related to Judaism to be at best a waste of time and possibly a sacrilege. (Summaries are from Wikipedia)

Day 5-Favorite Quote: "There's no crying in baseball!"  It's from "A League of their Own."  I can make it fit most situations.  When I found out--after the fact of course--that there had been tryouts for the extras in the movie--all the players--that I hadn't heard about, I was very sad.  When I was younger, I really wanted to play baseball but couldn't 'cause I'm a girl.  I'm so glad girls have the opportunity to participate in sports today.

Day 6-20 of your Favorite Things:
1. Mama
2. Spending alone time with Mama
3. A really good workout
4. Taking Pictures
5. Music
6. A really good book--historical fiction
7. Swimming--especially open-water swimming
8. Vermont
9. Watermelon
10. Old musicals--Fred Astaire, Judy Garland
11. Singing in a choir
12. The ocean
13. Watching the sun set on the beach
14. Hiking on a crisp fall morning
15. Warm beet salad from our favorite restaurant
16. Playing catch
17. Coffee on the front porch in the quiet of the morning
18. Traveling
19. A soak in a hot tub on a cold night
20. A cup of tea in the evening

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How We Spent Our Summer Vacation

Everyone is back to school, football is in full swing, soccer begins next week and summer seems like a distant memory.  Summer 2010 was filled with s'mores, camp fires, kayaking, child-free alone time, cool camps for the kids, fireworks, parades, sunsets, ice cream, swimming holes, blueberry picking, picture taking, and county fairs with mechanical bull rides.